If you are buying or planning to sell a home or property with a septic tank there is an important piece of legislation you need to understand.
The 2015, General Binding Rules: small sewage discharge to a surface water
Now, as legislation goes this may not be as high up the news agenda as the EU Withdrawal Bill, but the Environment Agency are taking it extremely seriously and there will be sanctions involved for those that fail to comply with the law.
What Does the Legislation Stipulate?
Prior to the General Binding Rules you could discharge the waste water from within a septic tank in two ways.
- To a drainage field that allows the waste water to disperse without the risk of pollution.
- To a watercourse. This effectively means allowing the waste water to flow into a local watercourse like a river or stream.
The second option has been banned for some time for new installations, but the new legislation demands that all existing septic tanks that discharge to a watercourse must be replaced or upgraded.
How long do I have to make this change?
You have until January 1st 2020 to upgrade or replace your system. If you are planning on selling your property before that date responsibility for the treatment system should be discussed between the buyer and the seller as a condition of sale.
What options are available to me?
- Replace your septic tank with a sewage treatment plant. A sewage treatment plant will discharge cleaner water that is considered clean enough to discharge straight to the watercourse.
- Install a drainage field. This is a means of dispersing the discharge into the ground without causing pollution.
- Install a sewage treatment pod to your existing septic tank. This will clean the discharge to a high enough standard so that it is acceptable to discharge to a watercourse
The legislation is changing but there is time to make the changes required if you act now.
A professional septic tank and drainage expert will be able to advise you on the best solution for your individual needs. For a no obligation conversation about the legislation and how it might effect you please call me on 01889 597 207
More businesses and individuals will be affected by this legislation than we realise so please COMMENT, LIKE and SHARE with your network to spread the word.
James Griffiths is a septic tank and drainage specialist based in Staffordshire.